5G mast bid near Portsmouth school sparks 26 objections over 'health concerns' despite risk claims being debunked

More than 25 objections have been raised about plans for a 5G mast near a school.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 2:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 5:18 pm
A file photo of a 5G mast. Picture: Getty Images

Concerned parents said the proposed site in Festing Road, near the junction with Highland Road in Southsea, is too close to Craneswater Junior School’s playing field.

Among the concerns is the claim there is ‘a lack of research that has been conducted into the radiation emitted from 5G mast technology’.

Public Health England last year ruled ‘there should be no consequences for public health’ when 5G is rolled out in an area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sceptics blame the technology for affecting people’s health, with some conspiracy theorists falsely claiming a link to Covid-19.

Telecoms firm Three, which is behind bids for seven masts in Portsmouth, wrote to the school on June 18. The school has not formally objected.

A Three spokesman said: ‘We are aware that there have been some health concerns raised by those objecting to the mast, however, from a health and safety perspective, 5G deployment is no different to any other mobile technology.

Read More

Read More
5G has been ruled safe by radiation watchdog

‘All generations of mobile technology used by Three comply with guidelines to ensure that no harmful levels of radiation are emitted.’

The 65ft mast would be higher than the treeline it will be set into, also prompting concerns over it being unsightly. The site is opposite a lamppost.

Concerned people submitting 26 objections include Sam Watson who claimed it was ‘potentially unsafe to have children playing and eating (in the summer) near one for most of the week’.

Michelle Bradley-Tigwell, of Darlington Road, said: ‘It is just too close for comfort and with insufficient knowledge on whether this type of mast is safe, it feels like our children are potentially being put at increased risk of ill health and being used as guinea pigs.’

Leaflets opposing the mast have been shared on Facebook.

Rebecca Barlow, of Craneswater Avenue, claimed there was a lack of research into 5G and added: ‘Placing a mast directly over where children play for a significant amount of time every day simply does not make sense until more research has been conducted into the dangers of the emitted radiation.’

Ofcom is monitoring sites in Britain and its study in February said electromagnetic field levels at 16 5G sites were – at their highest – 1.5 per cent of guidelines set by the international radiation watchdog.

Elsewhere, a proposed mast at the junction of London Road and Southwick Hill Road in Cosham has been refused permission.

Council officers rejected the bid as the mast would narrow the shared nearly 10ft-wide cycleway by about 3ft for about seven yards.

Three said 5G is ‘hugely important for the residents and businesses of Cosham’ and it will work to ‘find a way forwards’ with the council.

A mast bid from MBNL at Long Curtain Road in Old Portsmouth was refused permission for being in a conservation area.

One from MBNL on the north side of Goldsmith Avenue near Fratton train depot and Fratton Way was approved in March.

No objections have been raised to Three’s proposed sites in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove; the junction of Copnor Road and Norway Road in Hilsea; the junction off New Road and George Street in Buckland; or at the Bonfire Corner and George Street junction in Portsea. Those five sites are due to be determined by late August.

A mast in Southampton Road near the junction with Allaway Avenue has been granted permission.

The World Health Organisation is due to publish a health risk assessment in 2022.

Three is using Nokia as its core network provider, but now-banned Huawei makes up less than a quarter of its network sites.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news and information online.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.